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Wedding Reception Site Planning In 7 Easy Steps

The Top 7 Reception Site Tips TO Keep In Mind Before Signing

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Your dream spot sounds like a bargain, but is it? "Don't be fooled by pretty pictures online. Many items you'll see are not part of the rental package". Request photos of the space as is and inquire about the basics - power, tables, chairs, HVAC, bathrooms. If you are close by, you should make sure to visit the site both day and night to see it in a different light.

Anything lacking, you'll pay to bring in ($2,000 for fancy portable toilets, anyone?). Inquire about extra fees for installations, moving existing furniture, or confetti cleanup, plus factor in hourly rates for vendors who come early or stay late. Vendors will charge an hourly rate if it goes over the hours contracted for. Finally, see about access to an on-site event manager, a valuable resource that might save you money and stress.

Related: (previous post) Questions to Ask Your Venue/Site Manager

In this post, you will get ideas on:


1. What it Costs

Most sites include catering charges, depending on formality (of the party and the place), type of meal, and locale (city vs. rural area, East or West Coast vs. Midwest). Flat fee for sites you are renting purely as locations can be pretty pricey.

2. Ways to Save

Marry in a month other than May/June, August, September, October. Stay away from Saturday night - opt for a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday. Take advantage of your country-club membership or alumni status, or choose a city- or a state-run site such as a public park or historic building.

3. Beware of Home Wedding

It sounds like a great way to save but renting everything that a hotel or banquet hall would supply can get costly. Also, be sure to consider essentials such as parking, restrooms, a foul-weather plan.

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4. Take Your Time

It’s critical that your other vendors have the information and access they need to get their job done. Make sure your site manager will let them view the space in advance, as well as give them access as early as they need it on your wedding day.

5. Weather the Storm

If your site is outdoors, have an alternative location in mind in case of a blizzard or heatwave.

6. Ignore Know-It-Alls

If you want to pass on being announced or doing the bouquet and garter toss, that’s your choice-don’t let a bouquet manager tell you that you must do things a certain way. On the other hand, if the site manager has overseen lots of weddings, he or she is a valuable source of information about timing and other aspects of the party.

7. Take Care Regarding Cancellation

Your reception isn’t likely to get canceled, but you never know. Find out the exact date by which you’d have to cancel your reservation to get your money back.

Related: (previous post) Dates to Consider

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